How To Hijack a MacBook in 60 Seconds or Less

By Angsuman Chakraborty, Gaea News Network
Monday, August 7, 2006

Watch the video presentation Jon “Johnny Cache” Ellch and David Maynor at Black Hat USA 2006 conference in Las Vegas on a new method for remotely (using Wireless) circumventing the security of an Apple Macbook computer to seize total control over the machine.

The demo uses a script to exploit a vulnerability of third-party wireless device driver by Atheros for MacBook. It is enough for a vulnerable machine to have its wireless card active for such an attack to be successful.

The device driver software that powers these wireless devices operates at such a low level of the operating system that traditional system safeguards like firewalls and anti-virus software will not stop the operating system from accepting a maliciously crafted network probe from an attacker seeking to exploit device driver-specific flaws.
via Washington Post

The funny part is that Maynor & Ellch have found at least two similar flaws in device drivers for wireless cards either designed for or embedded in machines running the Windows operating system. And yet they decided to run the demo against a Mac due to “Mac user base aura of smugness on security”.

“We’re not picking specifically on Macs here, but if you watch those ‘Get a Mac’ commercials enough, it eventually makes you want to stab one of those users in the eye with a lit cigarette or something,” Maynor said.


December 7, 2007: 12:42 am


i am anand from india

i want know about how to hijack system @ enter into networking sytem plz help to me

January 3, 2007: 8:59 pm

[...] “How To Hijack a MacBook in 60 Seconds or Less” [...]

September 15, 2006: 8:50 am


Interesting presentation. I have a few questions for you…
You mentioned that the Apple does not have to be connected to an access point, so how is the link made, especially if the wi-fi card has no IP defined at that point?
Is this flaw also present in the built-in Macbook card?
You mentioned that the flaw was not specific to Mac but to the third-party driver and hardware. So why choose apple for this demo?

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